The Sadc Parliamentary Forum (Sadc-PF) has approved a policy document that would see the regional group transforming into a fully-fledged Parliament with legislative powers.
However, in a communiquÃ© released Wednesday evening at the end of their meeting, the forum has not given a time frame when it wants to see its dream come into a reality.
â€œThe 32nd Plenary Assembly adopted a policy document on Towards a Sadc Parliament: Operating Like a Parliament as well as proposed amendments to the rules of procedure, paving the way for the transformation of Sadc-PF into a Regional Parliament,â€ reads the communiquÃ©.
During the opening of the meeting, Speaker of the Malawi National Assembly Henry Chimunthu Banda said there is need to urgently transform the forum from a consultative entity to a legislative one.
Chairperson of Sadc PF Jonathan Moyo, who is Speaker of the House of Assembly of Zimbabwe, said during the last plenary session held in Maputo, Mozambique in July this year,Â Â members resolved that beginning from the next session, the forum will start operating like a Parliament following all parliamentary procedures.
The plenary, which preceded committee meetings in Lilongwe, had delegates from Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe with Angola and Seychelles sending apologies.
The meeting, held under the theme â€˜Enhancing the Role of Parliaments in Budget Oversight and Economic Governance in the Sadc Countriesâ€™, also made several resolutions, including the need to build technical capacity to strengthen legislatorsâ€™ role in budget oversight and economic governance.